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Ray by Barry Hannah

 

Nominated for the American Book Award, ‘Ray’ is the bizarre, hilarious, and consistently adventurous story of a life on the edge. Dr. Ray- a womanizer, small-town drunk, vigilante, poet, adoring husband- is a man trying to make sense of life in the twentieth century. In flight from the death he dealt flying over Vietnam, Dr. Ray struggles with those bound to him by need, sickness, lunacy, by blood and by love.

“A shorthand epic of extraordinary power…a novel of brilliant particulars and dizzying juxtapositions…. Reading it is like turning in one’s hand a sharply faceted crystal.”–Newsweek

“Will you welcome, please, a sensational new American comic writer, one with poetry in his pulses and witty hot wires in his sentences?”–The New York Times Book Review

“Ray is a song….about the electrics, cool and hot, of being alive.”–The Village Voice

“The best young fiction writer to appear in the South since Flannery O’Connor.”–Larry McMurtry

“A masterwork of literary jazz…. An intense and readable joy.”–Chicago Tribune

“Ray delights, provokes, shocks, amuses on every page. Barry Hannah is an original, vital talent.”–Houston Chronicle

“Imagine a Southern De Maupassant entering a Diane Arbus photograph in order to invent fresh juxtapositions of the American language…. Barry Hannah takes fiction by surprise–scenes, shocks, sounds, and amazements: an explosive but meticulous originality.”–Cynthia Ozick

“Barry Hannah’s writing is raw and exhilarating, tortured, radiant, vicious, aggressive, funny, and streaked with rage, pain, and bright, poetic truth.”–The Philadelphia Inquirer

“This novel hangs in the memory like a fishhook. It will haunt you long after you have finally put it down. Barry Hannah is a talent to reckon with, and I can only hope that Ray finds an audience it deserves.”–Harry Crews, Washington Post Book World

“Barry Hannah is an original, vital talent. His style is exuberant, impressionistic, and highly compressed…. Reading this novel is not a passive experience. It delights, provokes, shocks, amuses on every page.”–Houston Chronicle

“Ray is the funniest, weirdest, soul-happiest work of fiction by a genuinely young American author that I’ve read in a long while. You need a fresh lingo to do justice to this much magic, mystery, and hilarity.”–Benjamin DeMott, The New York Times Book Review

 

My Review

Doctor ray is a womanizer, a small town drunk, vigilante, poet and adoring husband.
The author presents this very hyper character who goes after anything he likes in a dress, while being married, he does it all in theses pages so expect some talk of the sexual nature coupled with his bizarre outlook and humor to life. Ray lives life wildly and to the edge and he’s having swell of a time doing it. The story was written some nice little sentences with some great dialogue. I found this to be good old straight and simple storytelling. A fun read that did not present great literary content but a story with a memorable character of no-nonsense characteristics a hedonist with plenty of love is Ray one whom i will surely not forget.
Be prepared to be delighted, provoked, shocked and amused by a writer that probably has not had enough praise by the book world.

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 28 September 2012

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